In June 2011, Debbie Miller Nelson, Wine Manager, had the privilege of traveling to France and immersing herself in French food, culture, and most importantly, wine!
Off to Paris! This is it! Our last full day in France. We leave bright and early Sunday morning for home. It was exciting. It was exhilarating. Except it rained all day. John, our host has parents who have an apartment in France so he suggested we go to the market, get lunch and go up to the apartment.
The market was HUGE. If you have ever been to the Union Square Farmers' Market in New York City, multiply that by 30. In this market, there are cheese vendors, vegetable vendors, vendors making whole rotisserie chickens, vendors selling foie gras and pate, etc. It was enough to make your head spin. Everyone was assigned an item to purchase and we split up, purchased, met back up and headed to the apartment for our feast.
Outside the apartment on the balcony, I saw the Eiffel Tower. Ok, I can say that I saw it. Good enough!
We all ate a great meal with John’s parents, a retired surgeon and a retired scientist, took turns napping, sang to 80s music and drank until dinner. During the afternoon, one of the Sommeliers opened a bottle of Champagne and sent the cork flying over the balcony.
As we headed to dinner, it finally stopped raining and we walked to the restaurant while John pointed out some landmarks. The same Sommelier mentioned earlier knew the Sommelier at a restaurant named Il Vino that had an interesting theme to it.
Either you could pick your meal and the Sommelier would pair wines or you could pick the wines and the chef would pair the food. Or, you can just do the whole thing blind. And, we did!
It is here that I achieved victory. I bested the current best Sommelier in the US by guessing the Barbaresco that no one else could. Happy dance!
One of John’s friends joined us and she arranged to go to a private, members only club for dancing after dinner. The crazy Americans set the stage for a fun night of Moet Champagne toasts and clubbing. Only the aforementioned Sommelier, me and John with his friend went out and boy, did the others miss a good time! We left the club at 2am and arrived at our hotel near the airport around 3:30. A few hours of sleep and then off to the airport to get back to reality.
As you can see, this was a who’s who of Burgundy and it was the single most exciting trip I’ve ever been on. If you see me in the store, I’ll be happy to tell you more about my trip and pick out a great selection of wine from this adventure for you to enjoy at home. Viva la France!
Since Champagne was a common demoninator among all the Burgundy producers, I wanted to highlight a wonderful Champagne from Pol Roger.
Pol Roger Extra Cuvee de Reserve NV
This is one of the best Champagnes for the buck. Try this Champagne with sushi or Thai food or even to kick back with on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Dry, zesty, tangy and citrusy, this wine is even fun to drink! Champagne is not just for special occasions anymore and this one is too tasty to wait for! Enjoy it today!